BREAKING NEWS: Thanks and kudos to the Board of Trustees. The budget amendment to decrease the Middle School staffing ratios has been added back onto the agenda!
The DISDblog serves several purposes. It provides a safe forum where teachers can vent their frustrations, bring up issues and problems not covered in other media, and offer innovative solutions from the educator perspective. This blog also serves as a “watchdog” over the district and attempts to hold the district and the trustees accountable as to how well they are fulfilling their mission of educating our children and being good stewards of our taxpayer money.
So we watch the trustees. We watch the superintendent and his administration. We listen carefully to what they say at the board briefings, the board meetings, in public appearances. We take note of the promises they make, the answers they give to pressing questions, the votes that are taken. And we follow up on these things to see if they are keeping their word. If they are doing a good job, we applaud them. However, if we find that they are making empty promises, or pulling the wool over the eyes of the public, it is our job to make that known.
“Let the dogs out,” as it were.
At the June 27, 2013 board meeting, the trustees voted to address the issue of the middle school staffing ratios. The administration had proposed increasing the ratio from 1:24 to 1:25, which would result in the loss of 66 middle school teachers. There had been much public outcry, and for good reason. There was no justification for the increased ratio when the district was due to receive more money from the state. Therefore, the trustees voted, 6-2, to “revert back to the staffing ratio of 1-24 in middle schools” and to direct the administration “to come back in August with a budget amendment”. Only Nancy Bingham and Mike Morath voted against this. The crowd cheered this victory for the students.
However, here we are in August. A quick look at the board briefing agenda shows no such amendment as directed by the trustees. The superintendent and the president of the board set the agenda. Who dropped the ball? We don’t know, and frankly, that is not the issue, although it should be noted that the trustees did direct the administration to bring it back in August. It seems they should have directed their president to be in charge of this.
The important issue is this: will the trustees follow through on the promise that they made in June to the public and to the students of DISD? Or was their vote back in June just another “feel good and escape the heat from the public while having no intention of actually doing it” kind of thing?
Did they do this just to keep the public off of their back? If so, we ALL need to let the trustees know that this is NOT acceptable. They voted to roll back the ratio to its original number, and they need to ensure that their intent is carried out. It is not enough to say the right things; they need to follow through with actions, or their words cannot be trusted.
So, what will it be, DISD board of trustees? Are you going to keep your word and actually vote this change into this years’ budget? Or do nothing and hope that no one will notice this broken promise?
The dogs are barking. And, by the way, just so you know, they are all pit bulls. Just sayin’.